Cambodian Couple Arrested in Pattaya for Exploiting Children in Begging and Candy Sales Scheme

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Pattaya police, in collaboration with the Anti-Human Trafficking Division Central Bureau of Investigation and immigration police, made a significant arrest on June 10, 2023. The operation was led by Pol. Col. Thanaphong Phothi, Superintendent of Pattaya City Police Station, who oversaw the joint effort to apprehend a Cambodian husband and wife duo involved in exploiting children for begging and peddling tourist candy in the bustling city of Pattaya.

Acting on an arrest warrant issued by the Pattaya Provincial Court No. 18/2566, the authorities raided the rented rooms located in the Nong Prue Subdistrict of Bang Lamung District, Chonburi Province. It was at this residence, specifically room No. 221/66, in a village comprising 73 rented rooms, where the couple and their three children, aged 8, 7, and 1 year old, were found. The investigation revealed that the children were being used to walk the streets begging and selling candies to tourists at various attractions in Pattaya.

During their interrogation at the Pattaya City Police Station, Mrs. Chan Dee, a 33-year-old Cambodian national, admitted to entering Thailand illegally, spending 3,300 baht for the journey to Pattaya. She disclosed that the children were employed in peddling candies to foreigners, while she herself carried the youngest child and begged for money. According to her confession, the couple could earn between 800 and 1,000 baht per day through these exploitative activities. Mrs. Chan further stated that the money they collected was sent back to her mother in Cambodia to purchase essential items such as milk and diapers. Her husband, 31 years old, corroborated her statement and admitted to being the father of all three children. He was apprehended while drinking with friends in Central Pattaya.

The preliminary charges filed against the couple include coercing, threatening, persuading, encouraging, or otherwise exploiting children for the purpose of begging and engaging in illegal activities. Moreover, they are accused of benefiting from the children’s begging by using, hiring, supporting, or encouraging them to elicit sympathy and monetary contributions from others. These actions are in violation of the Beggar Control Act B.E. 2559, Section 13, as well as the Immigration Act B.E. 2522, Section 81.

The arrest of this Cambodian couple highlights the commitment of Pattaya police to combat human exploitation and trafficking in the city. The authorities, in collaboration with social development and human security officials in Chonburi Province, are conducting further investigations to ensure the safety and welfare of the children involved in this distressing case.

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